ARLINGTON, Texas -
The 2018 men's tennis season is upon us as the Mavericks travel down I-30 in a neutral match against Harvard, hosted by SMU at the SMU Tennis Complex on Sunday at 12 p.m.
The opening match marks the lone contest of the January portion of the schedule, but opens up a stretch of seven matches in a row in the Metroplex, the next six taking place at the UTA Tennis Center. UTA is bringing a wealth of talent into its lineup this season with three returners joined by four newcomers.
"The expectations are always high for our teams," UTA coach Diego Benitez said. "We have accomplished really great goals in the last few years, and even though we have a very young team, we expect to continue raising the bar and go even further. We have a lot of talented players, it would be a matter of getting them used to our system and handle the pressure of college tennis."
Mauricio Del Rio and Guanarteme Nuez enter the year as an experienced due that saw success in 2017 dual matchups and during the fall tournament season. Nuez was 4-2 in the fall during UTA tournament play, but competed will in a strong features slate that saw him advance into several tournaments.
"Teme is a great leader, he was named captain of the team last fall and is really showing his commitment to get the guys ready," Benitez said of his junior.
The Mavericks, opening their campaign in Sunday's matchup, take on an impressive Harvard group that topped SMU on Friday with a close 4-3 decision as all six of the single's matches finished in just two sets.
"Harvard is a great team, they have qualified for the NCAA's a handful of times recently," said the UTA skipper. "They just beat SMU and we have a good idea of the type of players they have and will definitely be a very competitive match. These are the type of matches we like to play early in the year."